Chocolate Bergamot Layer Cake

Earl Grey Recipes

Showcasing a creamy frosting of caramelized white chocolate buttercream, swirling pools of decadent lavender ganache, and a sprinkling of edible blossoms, Chocolate Bergamot Layer Cake is a feast of beauty.

Chocolate Bergamot Layer Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1½ cups whole buttermilk
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Lavender Ganache (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: edible blooms, dried lavender
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat buttermilk over medium-low heat just until bubbles start to form around edges (do not boil). Remove from heat and add tea; cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (3-inch tall) 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, place melted butter. Whisk in granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, Dutch process cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with infused buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate until combined. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake until tops are dry and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
  6. Reserve ½ cup Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream for piping, and then spread remaining frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Spread top with Lavender Ganache, allowing excess to drip down sides. Using a round decorating tip*, pipe dollops of reserved buttercream around edge of cake. Garnish with edible blooms and dried lavender, if desired.
Note: We used an Ateco 805 decorating tip.

Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream
Makes 4 cups
  • 3 (4-ounce) high-quality white chocolate baking bars, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  2. In a cake pan, combine white chocolate and salt.
  3. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. (At times, white chocolate will look very dry and chalky, but keep stirring until smooth.) Scoop white chocolate into a medium bowl; let stand, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until cool.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add cooled white chocolate, beating well. Reduce mixer to low speed. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, beating until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Use immediately.


Lavender Ganache
Makes 1⅓ cup
  • 2 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons food-grade lavender
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, place chocolate.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat cream and salt over medium heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan (do not boil). Remove from heat and add lavender; cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing down on leaves to extract as much liquid as possible, discarding solids. (Cream should still be warm to the touch.)
  4. Pour warm cream over chocolate; let stand for 30 seconds. Starting in center of bowl, slowly stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Use immediately.


To find more Earl Grey–infused recipes, see “Sweet Tastes of Bergamot” in the September 2022 issue, available on newsstands and at


September 2022 Issue

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Next articleTurkey Finger Sandwiches with Cranberry Sage Aioli


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